Reusing vs. Replacing Old Roof Sheathing

Replacing the roof on your house is an enormous project. It’s tough, backbreaking work just removing the old shingles and installation is an art form. Wisely, you chose to hire a professional, certified contractor to get the job done but it turns out some of the roof sheathing was damaged and needs to be replaced.

Which begs the question: Should you save the rest of the old roof sheathing or replace it? With 25 years’ experience in the business, Mark’s Custom Exteriors has the inside scoop. Let’s look closer at making this important construction decision.

Critical Support

Sheathing is an important element in supporting your home’s roof structure and subsequently, the building’s walls as well. With the old shingles removed, a contractor can inspect sheathing for damage, rot, or failing fasteners. If any of these are present, it’s best to replace the sheathing.

This in turn allows workers to apply a second round of solid connection points to the sheathing to ensure the integrity of the structure.

A Home for Shingles

In addition to providing support to a roof’s structure, sheathing is the foundation to which shingles are applied. Consider that one shingle weighs about 2.5 pounds and multiply that by the entire roof’s area. That’s a lot of weight. Solid roof sheathing is a must and if there is any question of its strength, replace it with new.

Fire Safety

Especially with older homes, existing roof sheathing can be dried up and damaged and a prime candidate for a fire. If you still have older sheathing on your roof, it’s a good idea to replace it with the latest sheathing coated with flame retardant for an extra layer protection.

Save Now or Save Later?

If you are repairing a smaller roof area and determine the sheathing is in great shape, go ahead and reuse it. However, take a very close look as even the smallest section of rotting or damaged sheathing is all it takes to let moisture in and once water finds a way, it can do tremendous damage.

Sure, you can save a chunk of money today by reusing existing sheathing but in the long run, installing solid material will save thousands. In most cases, the labor involved to remove and reuse old material is far more than installing new. It can also be difficult to seamlessly tie in yesterday’s material with a project today.

Questions on roof replacement? Call Mark’s Custom Exteriors today at (503) 397-2215 for expert tips and more information.

Angie Holcomb
Author: Angie HolcombIn late 1993, one year after their marriage, Angie and Mark Holcomb decided it was time to follow their dream, and the couple set out to launch their own business. One year later, in 1994, Marks Custom Exteriors was established, one loving couple, one new truck and a passion for their vision. 25 years and many roofs later, MCE has grown to become Portland's premier roofing company and one of the only Nationally Recognized Roofing Companies in the State of Oregon as a GAF Master Elite Contractor. They remain committed to building lasting relationships with their customers through outstanding customer service, expert craftsmanship, and professional behavior and appearance among every member of our team.